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Literature / The Summer I Turned Pretty

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The Summer I Turned Pretty is a Young Adult novel by Jenny Han. Every year Isabel (Belly) spends a perfect summer at her family friends' house. There's the swimming pool at night, the private stretch of sandy beach . . . and the two boys. Unavailable, aloof Conrad - who she's been in love with forever - and friendly, relaxed Jeremiah, the only one who's ever really paid her any attention.

But this year something is different. They seem to have noticed her for the first time. It's going to be an amazing summer - and one she'll never forget . . .


Is now a trilogy, with "It's Not Summer Without You" and "We'll Always Have Summer".

This book provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Taylor keeps calling Jeremiah "Jeremy", even though she does know what his actual name is, but Jeremiah calls Taylor "Tyler" in response. Belly is the one that corrects Taylor on the matter, not Jeremiah.
  • A-Cup Angst: Taylor, Belly's best friend, is self-conscious about her small chest size and is jealous that Belly is bigger than she is.
  • Adorkable: Jeremiah.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Belly is one, although she also gets called "Bells".
    • Laurel always calls Susannah "Beck".
    • Taylor gets called "Jewel" by the boys at school, which she pretends to hate but secretly loves.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Belly to Conrad, although it appears that she might be starting to get sick of it.
  • Always Someone Better: Belly's relationship with Taylor.
    • To an extent, Jeremiah and Conrad.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Belly gives one to Conrad near the end of the first book, but his initial reaction is to dismiss it, prompting he and Belly to get into an argument.
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  • Berserk Button: Taylor presses Belly's when she makes out with Steven.
  • Big Brother Instinct: All three of the boys have this towards Belly, but she doesn't always appreciate it.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Belly, in spades. She constantly fluctuates between acting like a teenage and like a child, which gets lampshaded several times.
  • Character Tic: Belly sticking her tongue out, which highlights her childishness.
  • Chick Magnet: Conrad.
  • Class Clown: Jeremiah.
  • Daddy's Girl: Belly.
  • Darker and Edgier: The second book is much darker than the first, opening with Susannah's funeral.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Laurel and Conrad.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Belly laments she never gets called Isabelle, always Belly.
  • Everyone Can See It: She might like to pretend otherwise, but everyone knows Belly is in love with Conrad.
  • First Guy Wins: In the final book, Belly and Conrad get married.
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  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Conrad is the Responsible to Jeremiah's Foolish.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Belly is very jealous of Nicole, and is very obvious about it. She refers to her as "Red Sox Girl" most of the time.
  • Love Hurts
  • Love Tropes: Belly for Conrad.
    • Inverted with Cameron — he notices Belly a long time before she notices him.
  • Mama's Boy: Jeremiah is much closer to his mother, and is much more supportive of her than Conrad is.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Belly begins to think Cameron is when he keeps avoiding making out with her and rejects going skinny-dipping with her.
  • Morality Chain: Susannah is this for pretty much everyone, Conrad and Adam in particular.
  • Nerd Glasses: Belly used to wear them, but switches to contact lenses just before the story.
  • Not So Stoic: Laurel, as the story goes on.
  • Parents as People: Laurel, Susannah and Adam are all presented as people rather than just the kids' parents.
  • Parental Substitute: Belly feels she's closer with Susannah than with her own mother.
  • Precision F-Strike: Belly telling Steven, "Go to hell." after she catches him and Taylor together.
    • In the second book, Laurel tells Mr. Fisher, "Excuse me, but fuck you."
  • Precocious Crush: Belly for Conrad, although his is only two years older.
    • It turns out Taylor has one for Steven, although he just thinks Taylor is annoying.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Susannah used to have this, and Belly's is mention as being long more than once.
    • Angie, a girl Conrad has a crush on in one of the flashbacks, had almost waist-length hair.
  • Secretly Dying: Susannah is dying of cancer in the first book.
  • She Is All Grown Up: The reaction both the boys and Susannah have to Belly when she first arrives at the Beach House. Also combined with She Cleans Up Nicely.
  • Slut-Shaming: Explored when Taylor, after being knocked back by Conrad and apparently losing interest in Jeremiah, is caught by Belly making out with her brother. Belly then tells Taylor, "I'd never thought you'd act so...slutty." However, she also comments, "It was such bull. My supposed superiority over her. I'd trade places with her in a second."
  • The Smurfette Principle: Belly is the only girl amongst three older boys, and this is a source of frustration for her as she is perpetually left out of their activities growing up.
  • Sweet Tooth: Belly. Conrad even says if they cut her open, she'd just bleed white sugar.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Belly is the Tomboy to Taylor's Girly Girl.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Taylor eats absolutely everything with ketchup.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Belly likes Conrad, but Jeremiah might have a thing for Belly.
  • Visit by Divorced Dad: Steven and Belly's dad.
    • Conrad and Jeremiah's dad as well.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Both Conrad and Jeremiah to their father, Mr. Fisher.
  • Wham Line: "The cancer came back, Belly. And this time it's not going away."
  • What Does She See in Him?: How Laurel felt about Susannah's marriage to Adam. She even tells Adam this to his face after Susannah dies in the second book and he tries to sell the Summer House.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jeremiah gives Conrad one near the end of the first book when it's revealed the reason why Conrad is acting like an asshole is because Susannah's cancer has come back and he can't deal with it.
  • Wild Teen Party: Jeremiah, Belly and Conrad throw one in "It's Not Summer Without You".
  • With Friends Like These...: Belly and Taylor go through a rocky patch in the second book, but by the third they seem to grow out of their selfishness.
  • Wrong Guy First
  • Your Cheating Heart: Jeremiah, of all people, cheats on Belly in "We'll Always Have Summer".
  • Youthful Freckles: Belly and Jeremiah both have them.

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